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Isn't language great? Just saying the word festive out loud makes me feel happy. That's what we're working on around this household. After all, we're giving a party soon, and nothing sets a party mood more than festive decorations!

So, it's not every day that a nice Jewish young man helps you put your Christmas tree in the stand, but that's where this story begins or ends actually. Seeing a car in the driveway of Angela's former home, I walked over to see if Nadav would help me move the big chair where the Christmas tree goes. Except he wasn't the one who answered the door. Instead it was his older brother who is the exact same age as my son Matthew. Traveling down from Washington DC for Thanksgiving and the first day of Hanukkah, which for the first time in ages falls on the same calendar date, he postponed his return for a few days, working instead from Nadav's home. Score for me!

Although I'd met him briefly on the closing date, I'd not seen him since, however, my impression from that initial meeting was very positive. He proved my hunch, and then some. He came right over, helped me move the chair, followed by helping me carry the tree from the Honda to the back yard. Seeing the stand, he suggested we put it in, and I'm no dummy, accepting his offer was a no brainer! Yeah, yeah and more yeahs! Already I was in a festive mood with the tree in the stand in the living room no less!

Generally my Christmas decorations are pretty minimal according to some people's tastes. The decorated tree and mantle, door wreaths, and a smattering of Christmasy objects scattered on various hard surfaces. Once, when I was having a Christmas party, upon arriving to my home, my sister Carol decried my lack of "festivity," followed by immediately sending Bill to the store to buy more stuff! With that in mind, my friend Sue agreed to help me this year.

Wednesday morning, coming over bright and early, she proceeded to pretty much do the tree herself. With my blessing, of course! Moi--I stood by encouraging, and occasionally despairing about the take down. Why? Well, she not only wrapped the trunk with lights, many of the branches too!
By the time she was done with lights she'd used 700!!! I know it is a fat tree and all but if left up to me there would be maybe 300 max. Good thing it wasn't left up to me because it is absolutely beautiful! I bought the tree at the nursery adjacent to the Russell Home Thrift Store on Michigan where the prices are very reasonable as in this perfect tree was only $35. While there I went into the store finding the cute little Santas pictured in the front. I love those little guys and am so glad I found them!

First thing this morning I plugged in the lights and took this of the finished product:
You may notice that the mantle is done now as well by none other than Mr. Bruce. Saturday I stayed home from the Winter Garden market as I have to admit, I was just plain tired of selling. We spent the afternoon working on various festive decorations.

My tree pales in comparison with the beautiful decorations at the AAA headquarters where I spent the better part of Thursday and Friday.
Oh my, it was wonderful! In a happy coincidence the organizer put my friend AnneMarie Guzman's table next to me so we spent the two days chatting away when there were no customers. She does a great business selling her wonderful pottery. Actually it's dangerous for me to be around her work as I never fail to find something I just have to have! In addition she teaches both painting on silk and pottery classes for the City of Orlando.

Packing all of my stuff Friday afternoon, I hightailed it to FAVO to set up my room. Although in the above display there is a snowman, that is only in someone's dream; according to my car display, the outside temperature was 86 degrees! As a matter of fact, Bruce had come to help me hang the walls, and when the set up was nearly complete, I flew home to change into a sleeveless dress as I was sweltering. By nightfall, FAVO looked very festive.
Sadly there were very few folks that came out, and I can't say as I blame them with so many other activities to choose from. Then too, even as the night progressed, my room was hot as the dickens in spite of my rotating fan's best effort. It was a very long day for me so now you can see why I needed a break!

Saturday night we went to a Christmas party which was not festive at all. Perhaps it was me, because the truth is, I really would have preferred to stay home watching the Seminoles play in the ACC championship! Except I'm the one who told Bruce to accept the invitation! Regardless, it is puzzling to me why it wasn't festive....the lighting was good, the decorations plenty, but something was missing. I want to avoid that at our party at all costs. 19 days and counting....

Driving home through downtown, they are doing their part to set the holiday mood.
Friday night they had the big Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Lake Eola so maybe that's where everyone was. I heard from a few folks that the tree is considerably better than last year's effort.

So, while the rest of the country is freezing to death, around these parts, folks, including me are complaining about the heat, saying something to the effect, " I don't remember it being so hot in December!" I would have to disagree with them on that score, having lived here forever. That said, having a blog is a wonderful thing, especially when you can do a little search. Last year, same weather.
Except this year, there has been no rain, nor is the humidity unbearable. Having said that, it would be wonderful if the mercury would dip below 80. It just goes to show you that memories are a funny thing and not just mine. It was only 365 days or so ago and most people have completely forgotten what December usually feels like in Florida. Every now and again, it does get cold, as in the year Matt first brought Tom home for Christmas. A very happy Christmas indeed because at least there was sunshine which was a welcome change for my Londoners.

Finally, I'm not sure how it will look to my readers, but the Christmas tree picture is blinking on my end. Don't know why, but it definitely adds the festive touch I was hoping for in the blog post!
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